One of the biggest book festivals in the country takes place in Tucson, Ariz., March 9 and 10 attracting around 400 authors and tens of thousands of readers. Held on the University of Arizona campus, the Tucson Festival of Books has tents for well over 100 exhibitors, plus tents where there are special talks, panels, workshops and presentations, and other tents where more than 100 authors mostly from Arizona, sign and sell their books.
This festival brings together writers and readers interested in all types of stories from fantasy and science fiction to stories about the American West.
Among the authors you can expect to see at the festival are:
■ Susan Lowell is the author of 15 books for adults and children, including “The Three Little Javelinas,” “I Am Lavina Cumming” and “Cindy Ellen.” Her honors include two Spur Awards and the Milkweed Editions National Fiction Prize.
■ Craig Johnson of Ucross, Wyo., is the author of the Walt Longmire mystery series, including “The Cold Dish,” “The Dark Horse,” “Junkyard Dogs” and “Another Man’s Moccasins,” which serve as the basis for the television series “Longmire.”
■ Ann Kirschner has a new book out that is already attracting attention: “Lady at the OK Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp.”
■ South Dakota writer and artist S.D. Nelson, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is the author and illustrator of numerous children’s books, including “Black Elk’s Vision,” “Gift Horse” and “The Star People.” Other titles include “Buffalo Bird Girl — A Hidatsa Story.”
■ Reid Rosenthal owns and manages interests in 16 ranches and is the author of the award-winning historical romance series, Threads West ... An American Saga. He has also written the narrative nonfiction book, “Land For Love and Money.”
■ Robert Utley former chief historian of the National Park Service and the author of 16 books on American history will be on hand. His newest book is a biography of the Apache chief Geronimo.
■ Thomas Cobb is the author of the novels “With Blood in Their Eyes,” “Crazy Heart” (which became a movie) and “Shavetail.” He also is the author of a short story collection, “Acts of Contrition.”
■ James Donovan is the founder and president of Jim Donovan Literary, a literary agency in Dallas. His books include “Custer and the Little Bighorn” and the recent “A Terrible Glory,” which spent three weeks on the New York Times best-seller list.
■ Stephen Harrigan is a widely published essayist whose four novels include “The Gates of the Alamo” and “Challenger Park.” He also wrote HBO’s “The Last of His Tribe” and “King of Texas,” a Western retelling of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” for TNT.
■ Paul Andrew Hutton is the author of “The Custer Reader” and “Phil Sheridan and His Army.” He has written many essays, scripts and articles and was a historical consultant for the film “The Missing.”
Western Writers of America will have a booth at the festival where many of the organization’s members will be on hand to talk about the literature of the West. I’ll be hanging out there along with Johnny D. Boggs, Melody Groves and many of the writers listed above. ❖